This Feng Shou-Gongfu Shadow Boxing Drill involves the linear short attack and short defence Ladder Stepping method (Ti Bu Shi) the whole aim of this particular exercise or drill is to allow the practitioner of the Feng Shou-Gongfu system to fully explore their Gongfu and to fully express their own skill. The ultimate aim is to be constantly on the move, quickly changing direction, changing attack into defence and vice-versa.
When the practitioner uses the short attack Ladder a step they can either attack with a single, double , alternating or multiple strikes and kicks combination. When they use the short defence they can also use a single, double or alternating series of ward offs and deflections at various heights. It is better to start off learning this linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise with a set routine, so that it is easier for you to learn and follow, once you have fully learnt this particular routine you can then change it to another one and practice that. There are endless routines that you can practice involving all your defensive and offensive techniques, the ultimate aim is to reach a level where you can practice this Linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise in a Freestyle routine, where anything goes.
In the accompanying video that comes with this blog, Laoshi Keith Ewers is seen practing the Linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise to a set routine. This is to help the practitioners of the Feng Shou-Gongfu system to quickly learn and make their own routines up to help them improve their skill level and research the depth of their internal martial art. It is important that every practitioner practice this particular Linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise before they begin the two-person “Rollaways” exercise.
We all know what it is like to practice the LFIAA Health, Healing, Meditation & Martial Arts in the cold winter period. The days are shorter and the weather is usually cold and wet. The over-al feeling is of depression and low energy levels, plus most of the time we are stuck in-doors running through our practice and unable to venture outdoors unless the weather is dry. Even then we are wrapped up in layers of clothing.
Being able to get away to a warmer climate maybe for a week or two and practice in the warmth, especially around our winter period s such a great opportunity. As its allows you to practice more regularly outdoors taking in the fresh air and will into your body to help re-energise yourself, replenishing your energy levels to help sustain your health and wellbeing. Practicing in a warmer climate is also very beneficial in promoting strong blood and qi circulation throughout the entire body, excellent for arthritis suffers as the warm air gently invigorates the blood to flow, warming the muscles and tendons and then through your practice of the “Guiding & Leading” exercises of (Daoyin) improve your joint, muscle, tendon flexibility releasing tension and stiffness away from the body allowing you a greater feeling of relaxation.
Definitely practicing in a warmer climate, especially in our winter period is a great way to train in the Daoist Arts of the LFIAA. Anyone interested in pursuing this opportunity and would like to join the LFIAA and participate in training in the Daoist Arts of Taijiquan, Gongfu, Qigong/Daoyin, Energy Bodywork Massage and Dao Yoga in the warmer climate of Lanzarote in 2016 should contact us ASAP.
When I studied the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu under Master Chee Soo he did not relate much of the theory from the “Yi Jing” (Book of Changes) and the Eight Trigrams ( Bagua). What he did teach and use in correspondence to the Eight Trigrams was mainly with the Clock Face Evasion exercises (Zhong Mian Shan) and their eight directions of stepping to evade or dodge the opponents incoming attacks for which there are eight extensions to learn.
But having closely studied the theory of the Eight Trigrams over my forty years of practicing and teaching the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu, we now use the Eight Trigrams theory quite extensively throughout the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu to strengthen its strategies both in defence and offensive techniques. For example when various practitioners practice the exercise known as ” Rollaways” they simply use what we call the cat & dragon footwork with a rhythm of one/two, on the one an individual will step forwards into what we call a dragon stance and strike at their training partner. Who in turn will then draw back into a cat stance and parry the strike. This particular rhythm is very basic and limiting towards adding more information into the exercise.
But by using the Eight Trigrams theory we in the LFIAA under Laoshi Keith Ewers use the one, two, three rhythm within the ” Rollaways” exercise such as attack, defend, attack rhythm which allows the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu to develop a far more practical and effective fighting strategy that can be fully expressed within the ” Rollaways” exercise. The theory of the “Yi Jing” is based upon constant change happening, while things around us are in constant change we do not get involved,but except the changes. But when constant change effects us directly, then we must learn to change with the changes, but stay balanced within ourselves. As my teacher Master Chee Soo would mention ” Learn to adapt to any given situation and over-come it” in other words learn to change with change and adapt and over-come.
The Li Family “Opening the Doors” (Kai Men) Dao Yoga system involves lying, sitting and standing exercises that both passive and dynamic in there actions to help stretch open the muscular skeletal system and to stimulate the flow of energy (qi) through the energy pathways (Jing Mai) of the body for the maintenance of good health, wellbeing and longevity.
No knows when the word “Yoga” was added to describe the exercises, as the correct word that should be used is “Daoyin” which means to Guide & Lead the Qi. Or the word “Qigong” which means Energy Work. I suppose because the exercises mainly involve a lot of dynamic stretches that it resembles Yoga type movement. Hence how the word “Yoga” stuck and it is now used more regularly to express the Kai Men Dao Yoga system. The word “Yoga” is a Sanskrit term meaning ” to join, bind or bring together” although the word “Yoga” is of Indian origin. It can be rightly used to describe the Daoist Daoyin exercises as both cultures emphasis the intergration of the mind, body and spirit.
Today Dao Yoga is becoming more and more popular around the world with thousands of people practicing the many exercises. The Characteristics of the Li Family’s Kai Men Dao Yoga system is that
1). None of the exercises are held, but are kept moving. 2). There are two sets of exercise for every posture, a Yin passive set and a Yang dynamic set. 3). Each exercise must involve both external work (Wai Gong) and internal work ( Nei Gong).
Dao Yoga exercises are a great way to release the build up of muscle tension within the shoulders, back and legs. Simply doing some slow dynamic stretches with deep breathing can help to release the muscle tension and inject a boost of energy to replenish the individuals vitality and help them to become more relaxed. Everyone of any age can practice Dao Yoga, as each person can chose to practice either the lying, sitting exercises on their own, or the standing exercises on their own or a combination of the both methods.
Let’s have a look at the leg mechanics of “Turn the Waist & Push the Palm” exercise which comes out of the 1st set of eighteen Taiji Qigong exercises form or sequence. This particular exercise uses a side wards rocking of the body weight from one leg to another, at anyone time the body weight should be placed on one leg only. This weight transference helps to develop strength within the muscles of the legs, increasing blood flow around the entire body and especially in the legs themselves.
Once the practitioner transfers their body weight onto their one leg that leg becomes heavy with the body weight sinking downwards and the knee of the leg bending. The bending of the knee also gives a downward pressure so that the ” Bubbling Spring Point” ( Yongquan)on the bottom of the ball of the foot, the Kidney 1 energy point (Qixue) is pressed firmly into the ground to allow the Earths Yin energy to rise upwards.
The thigh muscles of the weighted leg will be lengthened and stretched from the inside to the outside of the weighted leg. The stretching of the thigh muscles is caused by the practitioners waist gently twisting to the outside of the weighted leg as they extending their hand is pushed across their body in a diagonal direction.
The leg that Carrys no weight will gently lift the heel of the foot to aid in the body weight being transferred over to the opposite leg, plus it also adds strength to the extending pushing palm as the ball of the foot presses against the ground connecting the Kidney 1 Yongquan point to the ground and guides the strength from the ground through the leg, waist to the palm. It is important that the practitioner does not lift the heel to high so that their centre of gravity raises up to much, nor do they lean forwards so that they don’t lose their root or connection o the ground. Obviously the exercise is then repeated on the opposite side of the body so that both sides receive the benefit of rising and lowering the energy (qi), increasing the circulation of blood to the entire body, strengthening the leg muscularskeletal system to improve posture and balance.
As with the last blog that I wrote on Tangible Acupuncture. So it is the same with the Energy Bodywork Massage or (Tui Na Qigong) the foundation is based upon understanding how to “Guide & Lead” (Daoyin) your patients energy (qi) throughout their body by using your own strength of energy to connect with the patients qi to either gather, disperse, rise or lower to treat a wide range of both external and internal ailments or disorders.
The Energy Bodywork Massage techniques that I practice can be used through the clothing or directly on the skin of a patient. The variety of techniques allow me to work on the patients energy pathways like the meridians, channels (Jing Mai) and qi points (Qixue), plus the techniques can be used on the muscular skeletal system. When I use a certain Energy Bodywork Massage technique on a patient it can be used to tonify or disperse the upright qi (Zheng qi) or the pernicious turbid energy (Zhao qi). This might mean that I will spend several minutes staying on one part of the body either working directly on an energy point along a certain meridian or channel travelling the meridian by sending waves of energy up or down the patients body. Or I could be working on a particular internal organ.
Energy Bodywork Massage can also flow the blood by working on the muscles, tendons and ligaments to increase blood circulation and to remove any blood stasis that may have accumulated through illness, injury age, or lack of exercise. Alongside the working of the blood I can also use manipulative techniques that gently stretch open the joints to improve flexibility and range of movement. So that the turbid energy that may be stuck between the joints can know be flushed out by fresh clean energy and blood which will help to heal and strengthen the patients body.
Once I start my treatment using various techniques of the Energy Bodywork Massage system that I practice. Patients will start to feel certain sensations like warmth, heat, tingling, fullness or even movement inside themselves as I work on various parts of their body. These sensations are the techniques that I use to “Guide & Lead” energy around the patients body to treat many disorders and to maintain health & wellbeing of the patient.
The Acupuncture method that was taught to me was based upon the ” Guiding & Leading” method of (Daoyin) The Acupuncture that I practice is simply an extension of the same art. There are many individuals who have learnt Chinese Acupuncture and believe that by placing a few needles into certain Qi points along either one or more meridians and then leaving the patient for twenty minutes or so, is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believing that the needle does the work?
Within the Acupuncture method that I practice I was taught that the needle is just an extension of the hand. It is not the needle that does the work but myself. Once I have inserted the needle into a particular Qi point along a meridian of a patient, I will spend a certain amount of time working with that needle using my own energy to connect through the needle to the patients energy and then allow my patient to tangibly feel various sensations like raising, lowering, gathering their energy, for which they will feel warmth,tingling or movement within themselves. Not at anytime will I insert the needle and leave the patient on their own, I will actually stay and work with the needle.
The “Guiding & Leading” Daoyin practice to cultivate strong energy development and sensitivity within yourself is the foundation that the Energy Bodywork Massage (Tui Na Qigong) and the Acupuncture method that I practice is based upon. To tangibly use the strength of my own energy development to fully connect and manipulate the patients energy either through my hands being placed on their body or through the needle that is inserted to help either stimulate or disperse the build up of the energy and blood that may have slowed or stagnated within inside the patient causing them to either suffer with a chronic or acute disorder which can effect the state of their health and wellbeing.